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How to Make Sourdough Bread

Fermented foods are a hot health topic – and for good reasons. These foods are rich in probiotics and populate our good bacteria – particularly those in our gut. Studies even show that they may improve digestion, boost immunity and help us maintain a healthy weight. We taught a class on how easy it is to make sourdough bread, yogurt and sauerkraut for yourself. This article focuses on making sourdough bread.

Be sure to check out our other posts on How to Make Sauerkraut, How to Make Yogurt and How to Make Healthy Homemade Bread!

You can find many more awesome videos on our YouTube channel or our Rumble channel.

First, it’s important to understand why someone would want to ferment grains, or anything for that matter. Check out our short introduction video about why fermenting is important for our health.

Ingredients

2 cups sourdough starter (just fed)

2 ½ cups warm water

1 T. salt

4.5 – 5 cups flour

Begin with at least 1 cup of sourdough starter. Feed it with 2 cups warm water and 2 cups flour (this will give you 2 cups starter to use and 1 cup starter-leftover to use next time). Measure out 2 cups of starter into a large mixing bowl (preferably with a lid). Add 2 ½ cups warm water, 1 T. salt, and 5 cups flour and mix thoroughly with a large spoon (I like to put the starter, water and salt in the bowl first so the salt has a chance to disperse in the liquid a little before I add my flour). Cover and let sit one hour. After one hour, “knead” the sourdough by taking your mixing spoon, start on the outer edge of the dough and spoon the outer edge in towards the middle. Turn the bowl 90° and repeat. Turn the bowl 90° and repeat two more times until you have turned each quarter of the bowl inward. Let rest 30 minutes, and then repeat the “kneading” process. You will do this a total of 5 times. After the final kneading, you will cover it and refrigerate it for 24 hours. Here is a sample schedule for clarity.

8:00: Mix and rest – 1 hour

9:00: Knead

9:30: Knead

10:00 Knead

10:30 Knead

11:00: Knead, cover and place in fridge.

These are ideal circumstances but the bread is very forgiving. I never keep track of how many times I knead or how long it has been since the last time I did it. I know to leave it on my counter about 3 hours and I stir it when I walk by it and remember that I’m making it.

Baking Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. After 24 hours in the fridge, remove the dough, stir it/knead it one final time (repeating the scoop, turn, scoop, turn, etc. method). Put the lid back on the bowl and flip it upside down (so all the dough is sitting on the lid). Grease two bread pans (glass or clay work best). Carefully cut the soggy dough in roughly two equal pieces and place in bread pans. Using your knife, cut a slit in the top of each loaf (this will be difficult because the bread is so sticky, but do your best). Place in the preheated oven along with 6-8 ice cubes (the steam from the ice cubes will help the dough rise). Bake for 45 minutes. After baking, flip the bread out of the pans and cool for 24 hours on a cooling rack.

Storage Instructions

This bread is best stored in the refrigerator if you are not going to eat it within 2 days of making it. You can leave it on your counter wrapped in a towel if you prefer. If you store it in the fridge, it is best to let it come to room temperature or heat it slightly before serving as it will become hard in the fridge. This is a benefit when it comes to slicing it. I store mine in the fridge, slice it when it comes out of the fridge (when it is still nice and firm), then let it come to room temperature to eat it. It can also be frozen.

To learn more Sourdough recipes, you can take the same eCourse I did. Click on the “Shop” tab, and then “Books & Courses” to locate it.

We have some parting thoughts on the importance and ease of incorporating fermented foods into your life.

Be sure to check out our other posts on How to Make Sauerkraut, How to Make Yogurt and How to Make Healthy Homemade Bread!

You can find many more awesome videos on our YouTube channel or our Rumble channel.